Three launches yesterday, three launches today. No let up, is there? I’m a bit slower catching up on these – partly because I was busy at work today, and partly because none of them really involve anything we haven’t already seen – but let’s do a run-through for the sake of completeness. We’ll do the Mercedes first, as that’s the most interesting, then if you so desire you can follow the jump to read about the Red Bull and Toro Rosso.
Having now seen it in full, it has to be said – it’s a sterling example of how just a few changes can make a huge difference to the quality of a livery. This is a great looking car, and will in all likelihood be one of the best on the grid this year. The turquoise works so well alongside the silver in this new, increased quantity that I’m amazed they were so scared of it last year; this makes the 2010 car look like a wishy-washy, test prototype, while this is The Real Thing. Dropping the black “carbon” sections from the engine cover and nose has worked superbly, too – it gives the car a much more dynamic feel now that, down to the tip of the nose, it’s just one shard-like piece of silver.
There are quibbles: it’s a shame there’s been nothing done with the airbox area (how nice would a huge, three-point-star Merc logo look there?); I’m not sure the red sponsor detail works as well on the rear wing as it does on the nose (where the classic-style race numbers allow them to get away with it); I still don’t know what’s up with those black-and-yellow wing mirrors, which date back to the 2009 Brawn; and there’s something up with the way the PETRONAS on the sidepod partially creeps out into the silver. Really, though, these are minor issues. All in all, Mercedes have done a terrific job this time out.
Elsewhere, the two Red Bull-owned teams launched new cars as well. For both, it was a case of “more of the same”, although moreso in Toro Rosso’s case; I really can’t see any difference between this livery and last year’s, aside from the new sponsor added to the cockpit sides:
Meanwhile, the Red Bull is at least a little different – and I don’t just mean for the (disappointingly small) #1 that now adorns the nose. It’s the wing endplates that draw the focus – perhaps to make up for the Total logo on the front wing sides being smaller this year, there’s now a red-backed logo on the rear wing, as well – replacing the Red Bull/Red Bull Cola drinks can that was on it last year. It’s interesting how much sway Total seem to have over the teams they supply – they’ve now forced a red logo on both Red Bull and Renault, although at least in this case it’s more complementary to the overall colour scheme.
But aside from that, it’s same-old for Red Bull. It’s a design I’m definitely starting to get a bit tired of, myself; it’s always looked a bit too busy (ironically, for a car with so few sponsors) with the red, light blue and silver stripes, particularly the ones on the nose. I think the team would be better-served reverting to a simpler, classier-looking design. The yellow nose and airbox, with the red bulls on either side, are undoubtedly an unchangeable part of the team’s look, but the car could still keep them and yet be tidied up somewhat – I mean, take the Petronas turquoise off this, make the RB logo a bit bigger, and you’ve got a definite winner…
Oh, and in case you were wondering – yes, I will be talking about Williams’ interim livery at some point, but as it wasn’t a full-on new season design launch, I’ve held off for now. More to come!